The Season of Invitation is a national campaign from the Church of England for the autumn. It is based on research, firstly, about the importance of personal invitation and secondly, that people are much more likely to come to church and keep coming if they are invited several times.
The Season of Invitation here
The PCCs of Hardwick and Dry Drayton want to try out the ideas behind the ‘Season of Invitation’ this autumn. In Dry Drayton, we are planning to focus on the following key ‘invitation moments’:
- Harvest Thanksgiving- 20 September, 11 am- a community service for all ages. This service will be followed by a harvest lunch in the parish church.
- Evensong for All Souls, to remember those we love who have died, 1 November at 6.30 pm
- The village Carol Service, 23 December at 6.30 pm
In Hardwick, we are planning to focus on these:
- Harvest Thanksgiving- 11 October, 9.30 am- a community service for all ages
- Remembrance Sunday- 8 October, 9.30 am- with Sunday Club running alongside
- Christingle Service- particularly for younger children- late afternoon in the week
- Carol Service for all ages- 20 December, 4.30pm
We’d like to ask you to focus on these key invitational moments too. Would you:
- Think and pray about who you could personally invite to what (and consider inviting them more than once). Even if they say ‘no’ they will appreciate you asking them to something that they know is important to you. And they might say ‘yes’!
- Meet them at church or come with them, and make sure they feel at home. Introduce them to anyone they don’t know at coffee after church.
- Invite them to the next thing.
Alongside this I and the local ministry team will:
- Provide invitation cards in advance that you can personalise and use
- Re-contact wedding and baptism families and those bereaved with an appropriate invitation from me
- Put together our family services but with a little extra something special on those days.
And may God bless us as we seek to share something we love.
Other seasons in the year
The Season of Invitation can fit into a cycle of seasons that covers the whole year:
The Season of Invitation- August to December
From summer activities through Harvest, Remembrance and Christmas, this time of year is tailor-made to engage or re-engage with a wider network, via invitations to key services,
re-contacting baptism families and wedding couples and, perhaps, a programme of visiting.
The Season of Nurture- January to Easter
This is the time of year to draw together contacts made in the autumn and over Christmas to answer questions and explore faith. It is also, from the New Year and into Lent, a season for all of us to re-engage with the core disciplines of the Christian faith.
The Season of Celebration and Growth- Easter to July
With Fetes and village events, this season is an opportunity for the church to be present and involved in the wider community. It is also a good time for retreats and away days that help us engage more deeply with life and faith
Of course these seasons are not entirely separate and do overlap but thinking of the year with this rhythm can help us focus our time and resources.
If you’d like to, you can find out more about the ideas behind the Season of Invitation on: seasonofinvitation.co.uk